While some students are setting their alarms to pay homage to the nonviolent activist of the 1960s Civil Rights movement, Wynton Geary is looking forward to making up for overdue hours of sleep.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation will take place Thursday at 10:10 a.m. in Jake Gaither Gymnasium, but Geary, a sophomore health science student from Chicago, said he had no previous knowledge of it.
“There were no announcements in my classes and I usually don’t find out about any convocations until the last minute,” said the 19-year-old transfer student from Valparaiso University.
Geary said he recognizes the significance of the convocation but doesn’t understand why he should sacrifice precious hours of sleep.
“It is important because of what [Dr. King] stood for,” Geary said. “But honestly, I have early morning classes throughout the week so I would rather be in bed.”
Jennifer Snowden, on the other hand, has been attending the MLK Convocation since her freshman year
“There’s no reason to stop now,” said the senior business administration student.
Snowden said she has always attended convocations with an organization that she is a member of.
Virgil Miller, SGA Vice President, said students might feel more comfortable attending convocations in the security of peers and organizations.
Miller, a first-year graduate student, said he has always attended convocations because he was in the band.
He said although all convocations are significant, the MLK convocations is especially important and relevant to the black community because King paved the way for the freedoms blacks take for granted.
“It is an opportunity for students to commemorate the legacy Dr. King has left for the world,” Miller said. “Without him, [black people] might not have had the right to vote or sit at lunch counters, so it is a small way to say thank you.”
Snowden said the MLK Convocation usually has one of the best turnouts, but there should be a greater number of people at the convocation merely out of adoration for the Civil Rights leader.
“I am attending out of respect for what he did,” Snowden said. “We should honor his struggle and what he fought for the best way we can.”
Contact Russell Nichols at email@example.com